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Monday, February 09, 2009

Importing My Photos into iPhoto '09

With a little persistence and a lot of trial and error, I was finally able to import all 12,000 photos into iPhoto '09 and run it over a network. It has been working fairly well, with some minor bumps and bruises along the way.

Just a few days ago, I mentioned the iPhoto iDisaster in which I tried to load 12,000 on a networked iPhoto library. I modified my approach a little and that enabled me to accomplish the goal of having a shared library that can be used by iPhoto '09 on my Mac Mini and then using Picasa3 on our Vista machines.

First, I changed my approach from using my Galaxy NAS devices to using my Windows 2008 Server. iPhoto '09 creates massive numbers of files (more on that later) and I have noticed that to be the one shortfall of my Galaxy device -- tons of tiny files give it problems. I created an "Apple" share to create the new iPhoto Library in. The one oddity I noticed is that for some reason the iPhoto library package residing on the Windows 2008 NTFS volume was not associated with the iPhoto icon. I am sure there is a simple explanation, but it did not keep me from moving forward.

After creating my new iPhoto library, I decided to start off with a much smaller import -- only about 4,000 photos to start with. I fired up the import...

Importing the first 4,000 files into the iPhoto Library on a network drive
After three hours of anxiously waiting, the import completed successfully and I was able to finally use the iPhoto library. I checked out the Faces option and it started scanning all of my imported photos for faces it could recognize. Shortly thereafter, I was able to start confirming and "tagging" a la Facebook.

Feeling brave, I imported the next 4,000 photos. Three hours later, they were added to the library successfully.

Then the final 4,000. They went in smoothly as well.

Finally I felt like I had accomplished something, iPhoto '09 finally had imported all 12,000 of the photos. Now I could use the software...and I did.

In fact, I probably have about 8 hours of experience on iPhoto '09 right now and know a lot of the ins and outs. My first major accomplishment was I have pruned my library down to a manageable 6,500 photos. Did I really need 12 of the same shot of the Eiffel Tower?

I also moved the iPhoto '09 Library in its reduced size to my local drive while I get the Library and Events managed. The main reason, the sheer number of files that the iPhoto library creates.

Here's the example...

For 12,000 pictures, the iPhoto '09 library created over 60,000 files inside the package. That's over 5 files per photo. Metadata, Faces, Events, and more -- frankly it is no wonder that iPhoto '09 struggles to run over any network. Perhaps someone can introduce the good folks at Apple that work on iLife '09 and specifically iPhoto '09 to a database.

iPhoto '09 has plenty of quirks (some of which I'll detail over the next couple of days) and crashes, but is fairly useful. While the Faces feature is neat, it seem to corrupt fairly easily, requiring a visit to your Time Machine. I hope with all the crashes I have submitted to Apple a patch / software update is in store for iPhoto '09 in the near future.

I am not sure if iLife '09 will be my final "Photo Organization" software, but it's direct connectivity to Facebook and Flickr as well as the Faces and Places are neat features. In fact, I am just starting to look into Geotagging with my Canon Rebel XSi for our upcoming trip to Hawaii. But that, is a different subject.


jimslade said...

Hi Ken.
Stumbled upon your blog.
Now that time has passed, I'm curious what you ended up doing w/ your photos and how happy you are.
I'm new to Mac, running both Mac+Win for the foreseeable future. Like you I have 1000s of photos on a NAS (HP MediaSmart home server). Was hoping to work w/ them on the NAS vs making copies on my Mini...

I'm curious what you ended up doing long-term and your thoughts...

Ken Hanscom said...


I've continued to use iPhoto and I have close to 7,000 photots in it now. Apple's updates have brought it to version 8.1, which clearly has a ton more stability than 8.0. Still, I have left it running local (even upgraded my hard drive) and it has been performing pretty well.

Yes, there are some kinks -- but it is on par, perhaps a little better than Google's Picasa software. I have been considering a move over to Aperture 2.0 -- but haven't taken the plunge yet as iPhoto works "ok".


rebelglam said...

when i try to email pics from iphoto 9 to my blogger account, they just show up as ? instead of photos. the old iphoto emailed to my blog just fine. anyone know what's up with that?